Friday, January 23, 2015

Russia, a Southern Friend

From Pat Buchanan’s article on the now-happening he calls ‘Putinism’:

 . . .

Call it Putinism. It appears to be rising, while the New World Order of Bush I, the “global hegemony” of the neocons, and the democracy crusade of Bush II seem to belong to yesterday.

 . . .

What do these leaders have in common?

All are strong men. All are nationalists. Almost all tend to a social conservatism from which Western democracies recoil. Almost none celebrate democracy or democratic values the way we do.

And almost all reject America’s claim to be the “indispensable nation” or “exceptional nation” and superpower leader.

Fareed Zakaria lists as “crucial elements of Putinism … nationalism, religion, social conservatism, state capitalism and government domination of the media. They are all, in some way or another, different from and hostile to, modern Western values of individual rights, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, and internationalism.”

Yet not every American revels in the sewer that is our popular culture. Not every American believes we should impose our democratist ideology on other nations. Nor are Big Media and Hollywood universally respected. Patriotism, religion and social conservatism guide the lives of a majority of Americans today.

As the Associated Press reports this weekend, Putinism finds echoes across Central and Western Europe. Hungary’s Viktor Orban has said he sees in Russia a model for his own “illiberal state.”

 . . .

“Of the 24 right-wing populist parties that took about a quarter of the European Parliament seats in May elections, Political Capital lists 15 as ‘committed’ to Russia,” writes the AP.

These rising right-wing parties are “partners” of Russia in that they “share key views — advocacy of traditional family values, belief in authoritarian leadership, a distrust of the U.S., and support for strong law and order measures.”

While the financial collapse caused Orban to turn his back on the West, says Zakaria, to the Hungarian prime minister, liberal values today embody “corruption, sex and violence,” and Western Europe has become a land of “freeloaders on the backs of welfare systems.”

If America is a better country today than she has ever been, why are so many, East and West, recoiling from what we offer now?

Source:  ‘The Rise of Putinism’,, posted 17 Dec. 2014, accessed 23 Jan. 2015

With many American and Western European elites, including more and more so-called conservatives (David Cameron, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, etc.), championing the ‘Western values’ of ‘freedom, openness, and tolerance’ (that is, post-Christian moral depravity) and other destructive ideas (Mammon worship, etc.), it is not difficult to answer Mr Buchanan’s rhetorical question. 

The question we Southerners need to ask ourselves is this:  Do we feel quite at home in a union with those who espouse ‘Western values’ rather than Christianity?  If not, then we need to once again consider peacefully leaving that union and allying ourselves with those who are truly our spiritual kinfolk.  As traditionalists in other countries have already learned, Russia is surely among them.

Dr Joseph Farrell elaborated on this in his ‘blog post of 11 Dec. 2014:

Recently I had a private conversation with a friend of mine about what is going on in Russia, and the West’s assessment of it. During our conversation, I stressed that one of Russia’s principal assets is a kind of “soft power” that the modern post-Christian West has little understanding of. Indeed, I stressed that in a certain sense, the Russian Federation is probably the only genuinely “post-secular” state in the world, having lived through the horrors of Communism and Marxism, which, let us recall, were “post-Christian” western imports imposed on Russia by force (and considerable Western financial backing, a story the Russians know all too well). In a sense, then, Russia understands something about the inevitable outcomes of the type of materialism reigning in the contemporary “post-Christian” secular West that the West itself has not yet reached. In essence, in our conversation I was arguing for the hypothesis that Russia was, from a certain point of view, further down the path of history than the West. Russia lived through its “post-Christian” stage and has emerged on the other side of it, and is engaged in something entirely new, and it is this “something new” that Western analysts, with their secular and “scientific” outlook, are missing entirely.

No sooner had we concluded our conversation (On Dec. 2), than Mr. Putin gave what, in effect, is the Russian equivalent of the State of the Union address before the assembled deputies of the Russian State Duma(and I must kindly thank Ms. D.O., a regular reader here, for bringing this to my attention):

I want to draw your attention to the opening remarks of Mr. Putin’s address:

“Of course, we will talk about this year’s landmark events. You know that a referendum was held in Crimea in March, at which its residents clearly expressed their desire to join Russia. After that, the Crimean parliament – it should be stressed that it was a legitimate parliament that was elected back in 2010 – adopted a resolution on sovereignty. And then we saw the historical reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia.

It was an event of special significance for the country and the people, because Crimea is where our people live, and the peninsula is of strategic importance for Russia as the spiritual source of the development of a multifaceted but solid Russian nation and a centralised Russian state. It was in Crimea, in the ancient city of Chersonesus or Korsun, as ancient Russian chroniclers called it, that Grand Prince Vladimir was baptised before bringing Christianity to Rus.

In addition to ethnic similarity, a common language, common elements of their material culture, a common territory, even though its borders were not marked then, and a nascent common economy and government, Christianity was a powerful spiritual unifying force that helped involve various tribes and tribal unions of the vast Eastern Slavic world in the creation of a Russian nation and Russian state. It was thanks to this spiritual unity that our forefathers for the first time and forevermore saw themselves as a united nation. All of this allows us to say that Crimea, the ancient Korsun or Chersonesus, and Sevastopol have invaluable civilisational and even sacral importance for Russia, like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the followers of Islam and Judaism.

And this is how we will always consider it.”

In short, Mr. Putin was drawing attention to the central defining role that Eastern Orthodoxy has always had and played in the formation of the Russian national and cultural identity,  and we would do well to mark his words, for they are most decidedly not the words of a typical American Dummycrook or Republithug “pimping God” during an election cycle. These are most decidedly not the words of a man in a weak position simply appealing to the only thing he has left: religion. These are not words intended solely for a domestic audience or consumption, but for a global one. As I put it long ago in another of my works, Russia is a mystery and enigma to the West not because it is Russia, but because in spite of all efforts to squelch and destroy it, it is Orthodox.

 . . .

In the face of all these things, note again Mr. Putin’s emphasis on Russian culture and hence, identity and nationhood:

“If for some European countries national pride is a long-forgotten concept and sovereignty is too much of a luxury, true sovereignty for Russia is absolutely necessary for survival.

Primarily, we should realise this as a nation. I would like to emphasise this: either we remain a sovereign nation, or we dissolve without a trace and lose our identity. Of course, other countries need to understand this, too.  . . .

The policy of containment was not invented yesterday. It has been carried out against our country for many years, always, for decades, if not centuries. In short, whenever someone thinks that Russia has become too strong or independent, these tools are quickly put into use.”(Emphasis added)

Now compare this rhetoric with that of Mr. Obama or other American politicians in recent history, who are always reminding us, and the rest of the world, that the USA is “the indispensable nation.” There is none of the “Aryan hubris” in Mr. Putin’s remarks. He is not arguing for Russia’s indispensability, but merely for its cultural identity and uniqueness. Rather, there is a solemn rehearsal of the West’s recent activities since the fall of the Soviet system, and Russia’s response, and a warning:

 . . .

We will protect the diversity of the world. We will tell the truth to people abroad, so that everyone can see the real and not distorted and false image of Russia. We will actively promote business and humanitarian relations, as well as scientific, education and cultural relations. We will do this even if some governments attempt to create a new iron curtain around Russia.

We will never enter the path of self-isolation, xenophobia, suspicion and the search for enemies.

All this is evidence of weakness, while we are strong and confident.”  . . .

To be sure, his own speech outlines salient features of corruption within Russia.But he is absolutely clear and consistent in his messages to the West: Russia intends to wage a propaganda and culture war, and will not tolerate, for an instant, cultural absorption into some post-Christian western New World Order. That is why the western elite so hates him, and Russia.  . . .

Source:  ‘President Vladimir Putin’s “State of the Union” Speech to the Russian Duma’,, accessed 6 Jan. 2015

May the Lord grant a warm and everlasting friendship between the Southern and Russian peoples.

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